Are Electric Cars Really Good?

Published By Selena M, 15 Mar 2019

Are Electric Cars Really Good?

Cons of Electric Cars

So, whatever reason you are thinking of replacing your old car or just buying a new one and you're wondering if an electric car might be the right option?  There are a whole load of things which will influence this decision, however to help you along we have compiled a list of the pros and cons of buying and running an electric car in the UK.  Factors will change over time and we will try to keep this list current.... We chrcked Bazariki car ads to see what the owner are selling and what experience are sharing.

Cons, disadvantages, the not so good stuff....

The Cons of electric cars generally fall into two types: issues with the cars themselves; running them; the performance; how they look; and then issues with the wider infrastructure needed to support an electric car industry in the UK, where you can charge and service the car.  Electric cars are not so good (at the moment) and this is why....

    • Costs - the upfront purchase of a new electric car is expensive in comparison to what you would get for your money with a regular petrol or diesel car.  Consequently, second hand electric cars are not much cheaper (see our article on costs or more detail).

    • Speed and Performance - electric cars can cover the full range of speed performance, from neighborhood electric vehicles that only get up to 25 mph to high perfomance cars like the Testla Roadster which can reach 85-90 mph.  However, the average electric car available worldwide will comfortably reach 50-55 mph.  This is lower than even a small 1.1L petrol car although arguably in the city this more than adequate for the top speeds you will be legally allowed to do.  Another issues is hills. Electric cars have good torque and will climb hills but the trade for this is a greater drain on the battery meaning you will need to recharge sooner.

    • Distance - range is obviously determined by many things, vehicle weight, battery pack voltage, type and driving conditions.  However, on the whole, electric cars are pretty limited in how far they can go on one charge (so although a full battery is cheap to charge it might not get you very far).  The G - Wiz is right down at arond 50 miles although you get more from the ZECAR at around 100 miles.  Cold temperatures will effect batteries but you can obviously extend the ranges with top up charging.

    • Charging time - the full recharge time for batteries can be upwards of 7-8 hours, although most can achieve 70-80% in around 2 hours.

    • Batteries - as detailed above, batteries have a relatively short trip capacity, they only survive so many recharges before they require replacement (although this is not unlike a normal car battery), they aren't cheap (yet) and they also contain fairly environmentally unfriendly chemicals that must be handled properly.  One positive is a battery doesn't run out all at once like a petrol car. You will begin to notice sluggishness, slowing and a loss of power e.g. on hills before it stops altogether.

    • Aesthetics - now this is a controversial one and could be a pro or a con depending on your viewpoint. Electric cars are on the whole a little different! Certain manufcaturers such as Think and Nice have gone for the more regular car look (think the Renault Clio for the Mega City or the Nissan Micra for the nice E500 - you get the picture).  Meanwhile, Stevens and Reva are slightly different, right up to the concept electric cars.  We could endlessly debate this.....

    • Lack of Infrastructure - the Electric Car Industry will go no-where quickly without widespread infrastructure improvements. Availability, charging points, servicing etc are all concentrated in the cities and within that, in the UK, that means London.  In particular, for electric cars to be viable for making longer journeys they need to be able to stop and fill up in the same way as a conventional car user can.  Since batteries will always take time to charge the only obvious solution we can think of is for electric car users to be able to "Stop and Swap" their batteries - exchanging their run down battery for a fully charged one.  That sort of infrastructure across the country requires major investment and help from the Government. Perhaps its right to let the technology mature in cities first before leaping into this aspect of electric car development, but the time to start planning for it is now!

    • Servicing and maintenance - tied to the issue above.  To keep in warranty you can't just take your electric car into any old garage for servicing.

In summary - electric cars are not for someone who likes cruising the open road in a performance sports car, or who likes run of the mill, easy stuff e.g. a fuelling station or garage every few miles.  Buying an electric car is still probably more of an ethical decision than a practical or financial one unless you live in London. However, this will change in time.